Bizav Financing Improving, but with Some Caveats

 - March 15, 2012, 4:10 PM
Citi Private Bank said with aircraft financing becoming more available and pre-owned business jet prices still quite low, now is the time to buy younger used aircraft, some with “significant technological improvements” such as the Dassault Falcon 7X.

In its inaugural quarterly report on aircraft financing sent to clients this week, Citi Private Bank said business aircraft financing, “like all other aspects of the business aircraft market, is experiencing ups and downs.”

Though the firm believes that the overall financing environment has improved recently and credit has become available, there is a new reality when it comes to financing a business aircraft. This includes the fact that underwriting and client qualification criteria are still quite stringent, it said. Further, Citi noted, most institutions now want a “wider relationship” with the client and “will not consider financing an aircraft without a substantial client relationship.” In addition, the “old ‘30 Rule’ that the sum of an aircraft’s age and the term of the loan should not exceed 30 years has been replaced by a new ‘20 Rule.’”

Given the improvement in the pre-owned business jet market, which it said is one of the “most telling” barometers of recovery for the industry as a whole, Citi believes there are currently good opportunities for buyers. “In our opinion, there are excellent quality aircraft available at attractive prices and buying newer aircraft that are less than 10, preferably five, years old, and models that have seen recent significant technological improvements, presents opportunities,” it said. “We believe there is a limited window in which to take advantage of these opportunities, as inventories of the newer, more attractive aircraft continue to shrink.”